Great Wolfpack fans help save another bowl

So sorry for the lack of activity on the blog over the last week or so.  In addition to the holidays I went down to Birmingham for the game and my laptop is having some issues; I am just now getting back to something that resembles a normal life.

I’ll have more from Birmingham later, but I just wanted to start off with a big shout out to Wolfpack fans for their awesome support of the program. The Wolfpack’s presence in Birmingham was fantastic. The only thing that saved Rutgers from major embarrassment was that their colors are identical to Wolfpack red.

(Update: We’ll also be posting a huge gallery of tailgating and inside the stadium when I get time to dump the cameras and put it together.  — Alpha)

In the midst of a deep economic recession and a season when a bowl trip was not naturally ingrained into the fanbase’s psyche, it was a fantastic testament for NC State to take over 10,000 fans to a destination as lackluster as Birmingham. (I guess we should expect nothing less from fans who sit in the rain over the holidays just to watch practice).

The draw of this year’s game will go a long way to helping the PapaJohns.com Bowl to live to fight another day. The announced attendance of over 38,000 was the highest in the bowl’s three year history despite last year’s game that featured Southern Miss whose campus is approximately 250 miles from Birmingham.

The first PapaJohns.com Bowl announced a grossly inflated attendance of 32,000 fans for East Carolina vs South Florida game. The game was attended by so few fans that the bowl attempted to force most fans to sit on only one side of the field so television wouldn’t show the large number of empty seats.

Rob Daniels shared the following in the Greensboro News & Record:

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — The N.C. State football team didn’t win the Papajohns.com Bowl, but its fan base staved off potential disaster for the three-year-old game.

With an estimated 10,000 State supporters in attendance, the contest announced a crowd of 38,582 — a slight increase from the 35,258 figure of 2007. The Pack was a late replacement for the SEC, which was unable to provide a team when it placed two clubs in the BCS and everybody moved up a spot in that league’s pecking order.

Some context for the 10,000 figure:

* ACC champion Virginia Tech had sold 4,700 of its allotted 17,500 tickets for the Orange Bowl as of Tuesday.

* Miami distributed 4,000 of its 10,000 allocated seats for the Emerald Bowl in San Francisco.

* About 5,000 Southern Mississippi fans attended last year’s Papajohns.com Bowl against Cincinnati. The Golden Eagles’ campus is 235 miles from Legion Field. N.C. State is 553 miles away.

A lot of you younger fans have never known the Peach Bowl (aka Chik-Fil-A Bowl) as anything other than a resounding success. So, you will be surprised to learn that in the mid-1980s the Peach Bowl was so close to the edge of extinction that the Bowl committee was throwing hail maries by re-branding the game ‘The NEW Peach Bowl” with the hopes of attracting enough local support to breathe some life into the bowl’s death spiral.

After five consecutive years of announced attendance under 51,000 fans, the 1985 Peach Bowl match-up between Army and Illinois generated attendance of only 29,857 and left the game financially reeling. Then came NC State.

The Peach Bowl hit a financial home run with their selection of NC State and Virginia Tech in 1986 as the two schools combined for an attendance figure of 53,000 fans – almost exclusively comprised of out of town visitors. The success provided the Peach Bowl the opportunity to live to fight another day and ultimately evolve into its current-day success. The 1992 Peach Bowl between East Carolina and NC State was the last bowl played in Fulton County Stadium before the game moved to the Georgia Dome. That game generated more attendance (59,322) than any Peach Bowl in history at the time (23 games).

About StateFans

'StateFansNation' is the shared profile used by any/all of the dozen or so authors that contribute to the blog. You may not always agree with us, but you will have little doubt about where we stand on most issues. Please follow us on Twitter and FaceBook

'08 Football Fans General NCS Football

60 Responses to Great Wolfpack fans help save another bowl

  1. choppack1 12/31/2008 at 10:58 AM #

    Good stuff. As I watched the game – the attendance looked better than you see for a lot of bowl games. Both sidelines looked pretty full. On the radio and TV – especially when things were going well – you could hear the “Wolf” “Pack” chant.

    One thing to remember w/ VaTech – they will bring lots of fans to South Florida – however, because of the rigging done by the Championship game/Orange Bowl and the $90.00 ticket price for the game through the ticket office, there are tickets readily available for less $50.00.

  2. McLovin 12/31/2008 at 11:00 AM #

    Just imagine how well we would travel if we had a championship caliber team…

    Lets win us one in 09-10!!! One can hope

  3. Alpha Wolf 12/31/2008 at 11:19 AM #

    We were there in droves. It was almost like a home game.

    Rutgers fans were a pretty cool lot, and I enjoyed talking with them. Sure, there is always an ass in every crowd but overall, they were okay. I didn’t really get the paper clapping thing, but that’s just me.

    The stadium was in a near slum. Think of an eighty year old facility situated off of Rock Quarry Road and you’re close to imagining what it was like. Still, the history of the place was almost overwhelming. Word is that the city down there wants to build a $500 million dollar dome, so who knows how much longer Legion Field will be in existence.

  4. Noah 12/31/2008 at 11:22 AM #

    If you didn’t care who won, the 1986 and 1992 Peach Bowls were two of the better games of the year. I had a good time in Atlanta at both games. The 1988 game was kind of boring. We won the first half 28-3 and they won the second half 20-0.

  5. choppack1 12/31/2008 at 11:26 AM #

    I hate that I missed it. I’ve always had fun at bowl games – regardless of the results…(Ok, there was the Micron PC Bowl in Miami, but that’s another story.)

    McLovin – I’m very excited about the potential for next year – and to see the fans reaction. The last 2 years, we’ve had a decent spring game crowd. Hopefully, this spring our athletic department will get the bright idea of stationing the media facing the stands where they seat the fans…so when the local highlights are done, you’ll see a packed house instead of bleachers.

    Remember, attendance is always a lagging indicator. Just as a took a few years for more empty seats to start popping up, this year’s run, bowl game appearance and hopefully some pre-season hype from local and national media should ensure a more raucous atmosphere.

    Also, maybe the people in charge of student tickets can do something to ensure that as many student seats as possible are filled before the game instead of early 2nd quarter.

  6. Alpha Wolf 12/31/2008 at 11:29 AM #

    ^ Ha. Expecting the Athletic Department and Stafford’s Gestapo to get anything right for students and football is like expecting to draw the winning lottery ticket.

  7. TOBtime 12/31/2008 at 11:31 AM #

    ^Alpha, I could not agree more with the area the field is located in. I told my wife walking back to our car that if there was not a bowl game going on we were in the WRONG part of town. It’s hard not to think that when half the real estate is boarded up or for sale and it ALL has bars on the windows and doors. We did park at a church and the people there were AWESOME! They told us they would be in their parking lot till the game was over and even told us a shortcut to get out that probably saved 30 minutes getting back to the hotel. Can’t say enough about those guys.
    Alpha, did you ever find any pizza for sale that was not for special pass folks? I walked as far as I could in both directions on our side of the stadium and could not find any. Did you see the beer/drink tent that was being worked over? People were just taking drinks and beer at will as there was no one there but all the merchandise was!
    The amount of NC State people there HAD to exceed 10,00. We were at least 75% of the side we sat on and it looked like 90% of the opposite side behind the WolfPack bench. I also thought the Rutgers fans were pretty cool. It seems they are more of the working folk as we are instead of elitist. I think they understand what it is to be looked down on and laughed at and really appreciate what Schiano has built.

  8. tobaccordshow 12/31/2008 at 11:32 AM #

    Commenting on Rutgers fans…

    I was in the bathroom around halftime and the bathroom was of course full. Everyone in there were NCSU fans and we were all doing the cheers/chants that we so love (except the NNNNN CCCC STATE N C STATE chant which I hate).

    This Rutgers fan as he finishes his business and begins to walk out shouts out “Well at least we don’t f*** our sisters like you do in North Carolina” which silenced the room. To that I replied, “no buddy that was your sister” and the place erupted.

    He wasn’t man enough to say that while he was still in the bathroom and could only manage it as he was walking out.

    Other than that though, it had to be tough to be a Rutgers fan during the tailgate and 1st half. We outnumbered them by far and we were kicking their asses.

    A kid in the concession line looked at me and said “wow, there are so many more wolfpack fans here than ours.”

    Observant kid. He was clearly right.

  9. tobaccordshow 12/31/2008 at 11:40 AM #

    Commenting on Legion Field:

    GHETTO. Public housing all around the place… dilapidated basketball hoops in the middle of Legion Field parking lot… truly frightening. To the person who compared it to Rock Quarry Rd… I think even those living on Rock Quarry would say that the Legion Field area was in the wrong part of town.

    We did manage to find English Village in Birmingham and that was actually quite nice. It was like a really neat historic district with bars and restaurants. Nothing really in Raleigh to compare it to besides maybe Cameron Village but that’s stretching it.

  10. Alpha Wolf 12/31/2008 at 11:46 AM #

    “Alpha, did you ever find any pizza for sale that was not for special pass folks?”

    There was a guy “Packaholic” who had two little Papa John’s boxes.

    BTW, if y’all were anywhere near that guy, you know who I am talking about. He and his buddy took full advantage of beer being for sale. They weren’t obnoxious by any means, but they were definitely loud.

    In the second half, he was yelling at the crowd “GET UP AND SUPPORT YOUR TEAM!”

  11. Alpha Wolf 12/31/2008 at 11:54 AM #

    tobaccoroadshow: someone came by the Rutgers folks we were tailgating with and told them “Guidos go home!”

    Like I said, there’s a jackass in every crowd and ours is not immune to that rule.

  12. Mike 12/31/2008 at 12:17 PM #

    I keep hearing this 10K number thrown about. With 38K in attendance, and the noise level, it seemed there had to be more than 10K. Any realistic ideas how many were really there? I cant beleive 28K tix were sold locally.

  13. NCST890 12/31/2008 at 12:20 PM #

    We were in the RV lot Sunday afternoon through Monday night and were visited by no less than 10 wandering vagrants looking for beer, cigarettes, chicken (no joke, this is the honest truth) or ribs. On Sunday night, one of them brazenly said that if we gave him some beers he would “keep an eye on your stuff tonight”. Yeah, right, kinda like when the mafia sells you “window insurance”. We even heard gunshots at 3:45am Monday morning from the projects behind the RV lot. What a freaking dump. Another example of how bad it truly could have been was when we were visited by the Birmingham Police at 9pm on Monday night just as we were enjoying Ribeyes and Grilled Shrimp. We were informed that there was not going to be a police or sheriff’s presence after 10pm and that we advised to pack up the tailgate and Motorhome and “get on up the road somewhere’s else”. When I told the officer that all of us including the driver had been drinking since morning he replied, “…all I’m saying to you is that a DUI should be the least of your concerns…”. By 11:30pm, we parked the motorhome in a hotel parking lot on the Atlanta side of town, out of harm’s way.

  14. primacyone 12/31/2008 at 12:27 PM #

    Watched from Home.

    The WOLF – PACK cheer was loud and clear over HD and in 7.1 surround sound. One time the announcers shut up for serveral seconds so you could hear the chant and it was so awesome listing to the chant. I hit rewind and played it couple of times over back to back. It was that loud and that good to hear.

    The broadcast also blasted the wolfpack band playing the fight song after the fist pack TD going into comercial. That was a pretty cool few seconds as well.

    The Peach Bowl. I came to know brown Liquor at the 86 bowl. I haven’t had a drop of brown Liquor since the 92 bowl – if you know what I’m saying. Good times in HotLanta! They just need about 10 times as many taxi cabs around there.

  15. primacyone 12/31/2008 at 12:29 PM #

    Watched from Home.

    The WOLF – PACK cheer was loud and clear over HD and in 7.1 surround sound. One time the announcers shut up for serveral seconds so you could hear the chant and it was so awesome listing to the chant. I hit rewind and played it couple of times over back to back. It was that loud and that good to hear.

    The broadcast also blasted the wolfpack band playing the fight song after the fist pack TD going into comercial. That was a pretty cool few seconds as well.

    The Peach Bowl. I came to know brown Liquor at the 86 bowl. I haven’t had a drop of brown Liquor since the 92 bowl – if you know what I’m saying. Good times in HotLanta! They just need about 10 times as many taxi cabs around there.

  16. TheACCForums.com 12/31/2008 at 1:06 PM #

    AlphaWolf or another admin. Could you please contact me at theaccforums@gmail.com or check your email (statefans@gmail.com) regarding a partnership. You guys are tough to get in touch with!

  17. Noah 12/31/2008 at 1:16 PM #

    I’ve been to Alabama several times. Mobile is nice. Tuscaloosa is a pretty typical southern college town. It’s fine.

    Birmingham is a cesspool. It’s where hope went to get cancer, get peed on, mugged and then die. I can’t think of another city in the south that I’ve ever been to that’s worse. North Jacksonville out by the interstate is better.

    I’ve been to Saginaw, MI (the entire place is a Brownfield zone) and it’s even better than Birmingham. Newark, NJ is probably the closest thing I’ve ever seen to it. Patterson, NJ comes close.

    If I ever look up and see a sign for “Birmingham,” I will know that I’ve apparently died…gone to hell…and am doomed to eternity in the place.

  18. Alpha Wolf 12/31/2008 at 1:23 PM #

    ^ That’s pretty much what I saw. We went and visited family in Huntsville and came down for the day to the game. The two towns are like night and day.

    If you have kids with any sort of engineering interest, you ought to consider taking them down to the Alabama Space and Rocket Museum and maybe even sending them for a term at Space Camp in Huntsville. For adults, it is extremely interesting to see the history of our space program, and see how the Marshall Space Flight Center and Redstone Arsenal figured into it.

    They have recently restored a Saturn V and have it indoors on its side, hung from the ceiling. You can walk under this most impressive rocket (the most powerful one that was operational in human history) and see what took us to the moon. Until you see one close up and personal, you can’t really imagine the size of it.

    For adults, it’s about an hour’s ride to Lynchburg, Tennessee from Huntsville to see the Jack Daniel’s distillery. That’s interesting too, and it’s amazing to see how they make all that whiskey at that place.

  19. Noah 12/31/2008 at 1:32 PM #

    Yep, Huntsville is another cool place in Alabama.

    Don’t think I’m crapping on the entire state. It’s really just Birmingham.

  20. tobaccordshow 12/31/2008 at 1:53 PM #

    Picked up the Birmingham paper Monday morning before the game… 3 homicides.

    Everything that has been said thus far about Birmingham is entirely correct if not bordering on the “romantic” side of Birmingham. It was that bad.

    We had way more than 10,000 fans. If 28,000 was the attendance, I would bet that 60 – 70 percent of the side I was sitting on was Wolfpack and the other side looked to be completely (> 90%) Wolfpack. The tailgate was just another home tailgate.

    If only we had won.

    The storyline would’ve been great too… Daniel Evans sitting on his grief as 3rd string quarterback after being hailed as a savior a short time ago… dejected.

    Beck comes in. 0 – 4 with an INT.

    Evans is in and the whole places is cheering DANIEL EVANS CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP CLAP.

    HOLY CRAP A TOUCHDOWN!

    Does Evans have just a little bit of magic left in that arm of his?

    No.

    :(

    It would have been a great story though.

  21. packbackr04 12/31/2008 at 2:14 PM #

    we are getting thumped by Towson right now! we have missed our last 6 shots. 18-11 Towson

  22. packbackr04 12/31/2008 at 2:15 PM #

    21-11 Towson….. on the plus side, Sid looks really nice in his suit that has 4 freaking buttons. Who wears a suit with more than 2 buttons?

  23. packbackr04 12/31/2008 at 2:18 PM #

    11:31 to go in the half and we are down 23-16. wow

  24. choppack1 12/31/2008 at 2:24 PM #

    tobacco – You just knew that Evans would play well until his first INT and/or until the D figured out he couldn’t make certain passes.

    As far as basketball – it’s still early yet

  25. 4in12 12/31/2008 at 2:28 PM #

    If anyone cares – the game is on http://www.wtmd.org (Towson campus radio)

Leave a Reply